Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Washington Heritage Trail
The second floor of the historic Roman Bath House, oldest public building in Berkeley Springs is the Museum of the Berkeley Springs with exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the springs and town. There are both permanent and changing exhibits. It was established in 1984 and is open regularly in season. Historically,this space has been used for everything from a Reading Room and doctor's office to the American Legion hall.
On the first floor there are nine individual bathing chambers with tubs that hold 750 gallons of spring water heated to 102 degrees and open to the public daily year round. The Federal style brick Roman Bath House was built in 1815 on the site of an earlier bathhouse often attributed to James Rumsey. The original built in 1784, was described as having five bathing chambers and dressing rooms.
From the 18th century into the 20th, the main entrance by road to the park and springs was along Wilkes Street to the Roman Bath House rather than along Washington Street and today's park "front."
About the Water
The warm mineral waters are available for bathing in two park bathhouses; for drinking from a fountain at the 19th century Gentlemen's Spring House, and from every tap in town since the springs serve as source of the municipal water
The water flows through the Oriskany sandstone of Warm Springs Ridge and out along its base at 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Dominated by sulphates, nitrates and carbonates - mostly magnesium carbonate - the water has a fresh, clean taste. Flow varies from 750 to 2000 gallons per minute. Since the 1750s it has been taken internally for digestive disorders and in baths for stress relief.
I think myself benefitted from the water and am not without hope of their making a cure for me - a little time will show now.
George Washington to Reverend Charles Green - August 30, 1761
Left side bar describes and maps the Washington Heritage Trail.
Location. 39° 37.64′ N, 78° 13.725′ W. Marker is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Fairfax Street and Wilkes Street on Fairfax Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Berkeley Springs Baths (a few steps from this marker); Berkeley Springs Sanitarium (a few steps from this marker); Centennial Time Capsule (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Berkeley Springs / James Rumsey (about 400 feet away); Morgan County Veteran's Monument (about 400 feet away); Battle for Bath (about 400 feet away); Campaign in the Snow (about 500 feet away); The Sons and Daughters of Morgan County (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
Categories. • Landmarks • Natural Features • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 646 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.